All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As you can tell, I’ve failed at keeping this episode/season specific. Onwards!
7.7 The Dragon and the Wolf
Guys, we made it. We had our ups and downs but we’re here. Perfect timing too, as that Season 8 trailer just dropped. I still haven’t watched. I don’t want spoilers. I literally just looked at those EW pictures that came out ages ago and then stepped away from my computer.
This final viewing, well… I wouldn’t say that my opinion of the second half of the series has changed, but I’ve accepted a couple more things, such as the speed of Season 7, New Daario, and the burying of Yara- but certain writings and developments are still and always will be bad. But. I like this episode. A lot. I do. Sure, it feels a tad fan servicey, but everyone’s paths were going to intertwine eventually and the dialogue really does fit with where each of the characters are at this point. That being said, let’s get on with it, shall we?
As far as the title goes, if you don’t know what it refers to, then you haven’t been paying attention. The final episode opens up n the Unsullied, who stand outside the dragon pits of King’s Landing, where the Lannister army is holed up and ready to attack if they need to. Everyone and their mothers (except Cat- ouch!) have convened at King’s Landing at the request of Dany and the negotiating of Tyrion, in order to understand the real threat to Westeros. We’re soon joined by the Dothraki horde and what’s left of the Greyjoy fleet, as Jon and Tyrion survey the scene and observe that King’s Landing alone has more people than the rest of the country combined.
Meanwhile, Cersei commands the Mountain to kill Dany, Tyrion, and Jon in that order- should anything go wrong.
Down below, Tyrion leading Dany’s party and Bronn leading the Lannisters finally come face to face- Brienne and Podrick have successfully made their way down South and she and the Hound snarl at each other a bit before everyone decides to combine their pub crawls. In a strange series of reunions, Tyrion, Bronn, and Pod do everything but hug to reunite, and Brienne and the Hound speak through veiled threats. They each realize how fond they are of Arya and drop their guards- it’s like two bickering parents who finally start getting along because they realize their kid is becoming an adult.
Tyrion, Jorah, the Hound, Missandei, Davos, Brienne, Jon, Theon, and Varys wait for Cersei, who makes a grand entrance flanked by Qyburn, Jaime, the Mountain, and finally Euron who has made his way to this dais without really earning it. Teasing the Clegane Bowl, the Hound approaches his brother and asks what they did to Gregor- it’s a moment of pity and disgust in favor of his brother before the Hound realizes that he’s supposed to hate Gregor and promises to kill him.
After a delay, Dany makes a fashionably late entrance on Drogon. Everyone, including the people who have already met Drogon, are in awe. Everyone, except Cersei, that is- she remains seated and looks sternly ahead, despite Drogon’s wingspan covering the entire pit. As things are about to get started Moodkiller Euron postures a bit in front of Tyrion and delays the whole thing because this is exactly what we want to see and we aren’t moaning, “ON GET ON WITH IT” while he’s talking. Not at all. Nope.
Sidenote: Why the fuck is everyone wearing black? What happened to the fun costumes and the house colors? I want to see Cersei in scarlet!
Tyrion continues his plea that everyone should drop their disagreements for the meantime and Jon steps in to provide more context about the Army of the Dead. To prove their point, the Hound marches up with the wight and immediately releases it on Cersei. Everyone watches, horrified, as the Hound chops it to bits, but its pieces continue to move. Jaime is convinced, Cersei seems convinced, Qyburn is turned on, and Euron turns tail, noping out of there real fast.
Cersei begrudgingly accepts the truce until the army has been defeated- but she demands that Jon and the North stay out of the impending war against Dany. Like his father before him, Jon opts to remain loyal and reveals that he has already pledged loyalty to Dany. Cersei snatches back her offer to help against the Night King and storms out, while Brienne pleads Jaime to look beyond titles and houses and everyone else shits on Jon for giving Cersei cause to renege on her offer. Jon taps into that Stark loyalty, saying he would never offer a false pledge and everyone seems to know that this will be his downfall.
As a last resort, Tyrion leaves to negotiate with Cersei. She’s still stuck on the notion that Tyrion’s objective is to destroy House Lannister, blaming him for Myrcella’s and Tommen’s deaths, which came in waves after Tywin wasn’t around to protect them from other houses. Tyrion admits that he’s thought about killing Cersei but she still can’t bring herself to order his execution. Tyrion figures out that Cersei is pregnant and the negotiation ends there.
Back in the pits, Dany tells Jon about how the dragons were free and huge until they were locked up and as the dragons grew smaller, so did the power of the Targaryens. Dany apologizes to Jon for not believing him sooner and Jon admits that they’re in a bad spot- but Tyrion comes back with the good news that Cersei has changed her mind- she calls all of her bannermen to go North. Considering that Dany has again dropped the line that she can’t have children and Tyrion’s fresh off a conversation about Cersei’s baby- mayhaps he’s made a deal about the future of the dynasty.
Up North, Sansa is salty about Jon pledging to Dany and surrendering the North. Littlefinger points out that it’s a natural alliance- but Jon can be unnamed King in the North, implying that Sansa could be elected. Sansa immediately brings up that Arya would be opposed and Littlefinger suggests that Sansa try to understand Arya’s motives and the worst possibility- and Sansa comes to the conclusion that Arya must want to be Lady of Winterfell. It’s exactly what Littlefinger wants- to have the two Stark girls face off against each other.
At Dragonstone, Jon suggests they sail to White Harbor and then ride the rest of the Kingsroad to Winterfell, but Jorah disagrees thinking she would be assassinated at any moment. Dany decides to trust Jon, as she’s been proven wrong about not heeding his advice, so that the people can see their alliance and know she’s serious about being their leader. Before SHIPPING OFF (see what I did there?), Theon confronts Jon about admitting his allegiance to Dany and Jon points out that the times they are in call for honesty between allies. Unexpectedly, Theon openly admires Jon for always doing the right thing. Jon provides Theon with the words he needs to hear- that Theon carries the bravery of the Greyjoys, as wella s the good heart of the Starks- and that Theon is worthy of doing the right thing. Inspired, Theon beats one of his own soldiers down and orders his men to go save Yara.
In Winterfell, Sansa calls for a meeting in the Great Hall and Arya is brought forward, surrounded by soldiers. Sansa reminds Arya that she’s there to defend the North from those who would betray them and reads off an accusation of murder and treason- directed at Littlefinger. Sansa calls him out for murdering Aunt Lysa, conspiring to kill Robert’s Hand Jon Arryn, the accusation of the Lannisters against the Arryns, conspiring with Cersei against Ned… the list goes on and on as Sansa spits at her pseudo-father figure. Littlefinger claims that she’s making all of it up as no one was around to see it, but Bran pulls some eerie details about how Littlefinger stuck a knife at Ned and told him that Ned was warned not to trust him. Littlefinger pleads with Sansa, but Sansa returns his little speech about motives- which is absolutely unnecessary because he already told her everything that he wanted when he spun the tale about being on the Iron Throne with Sansa by her side. Literally everything was explained in that scene for Sansa to not trust him, and she already didn’t trust him at that point, and none of this “Who Dun It: Winterfell Edition” was needed.
Defeated, Littlefinger sinks to the floor and calls on his love for Cat- who, Sansa points out, he betrayed. Arya steps forward to slit his throat with the knife that was used in Bran’s attempted assassination and- it’s a fitting end to one of the most hated characters of the series. Just a weak lead-up.
In King’s Landing, Jaime strategizes the trip to Winterfell with his men and Cersei drops the bomb that she plans to betray Tyrion. Jaime intends to keep his promise, but Cersei is convinced that the North, the Targaryens, and the Night King will all wipe each other out, leaving other lands to be conquered by the Lannisters and her child to rule Westeros. Jaime tries to reason with Cersei but she has a counterargument for everyone of his points, choosing to harp on the smaller details rather than the bigger issue that the Night King poses.
Cersei throws it in Jaime’s face that she learned all of Tywin’s lessons about power and money and how the two go hand in hand- with the gold from Highgarden, she’s purchased the fighting mercenaries of the Golden Company- 20,000 men, with horses and elephants. It turns out that they’re going to be hand delivered by Euron Greyjoy, who needed to use the wight as an excuse to leave and pick them up.
Jaime finally comes to terms with the fact that Cersei will never respect or have the same loyalty to him as he does to her. He insists that he uphold his vow in the name of the Realm- all he has left is his honor- but the Mountain blocks his way. Jaime wonders out loud if she’ll give the command to have him killed. He senses that she doesn’t quite have the heart to do so and walks away. As Jaime leaves King’s Landing alone, it begins to snow- and that’s pretty far south.
Back at Winterfell, Sam and Gilly are finally returning from the Citadel and the first thing Sam does is run over to Bran- and he immediately notices that Bran has changed from the kid he brought to the Wall. Bran explains that he can see things that happened in the past, all over the world, in places he is not. Bran ominously says that Jon needs to know the truth- that he’s not Ned’s son at all, and he’s the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, born in Dorne. Bran continues that his name isn’t Jon Snow, it’s Jon Sand. Sam immediately remembers what Gilly had mentioned about a “Ragger” and an annulment takes credit for Gilly’s discovery, claiming he read that Rhaegar and Elia’s marriage was annulled and that he married Lyanna in secret. It’s WEIRD that Bran didn’t think this far ahead to find out the actual conceiving of Jon. Like the first thing I would have done after seeing her give birth is, wait, who’s the father and how did that all happen? Eventual rewindings of Lyanna’s happy pregnancy would have indicated that it wasn’t a rape at all. Like headlights, Bran. Come on.
The two come to the conclusion that Robert’s Rebellion was based on a lie and that Lyanna wasn’t at all kidnapped- it was a mutual love between Lyanna and Rhaegar.
We are treated to this really lovely crosscutting to Jon approaching Dany’s door and finally coming to terms with his feelings for her, and as Bran narrates the relationship between Lyanna and Rhaegar, Jon and Dany have boring-plank-incest-sex. Bran announces Jon as the heir to the Iron Throne. I mean. It’s a fine scene aside from the boring sex and I feel like Bran’s narration is just reiterating shit we already knew. Could there have been a more creative way to do this rather than just a voice over? Sure. But I guess there was no way to relay this information to Sam and thus confirm everything for good to the audience. So. Whatever. Anyway, what previously seemed like a perfect pairing and natural match is now marred by the fact that Dany is Jon’s aunt. It’s WEIRD that so many people are in favor of this relationship.
Anyway. Remember when Jon refused Mel’s advances and said he was still living- essentially that he would always love Yrgitte and only Ygritte while he was living. Yeah. The fangirl in me wants to believe that the only reason why he’s quick to move on Dany is because he got stabbed and so he’s kind of forgot or numb to what real love is aka Ygritte aka Jon and Ygritte forever.
Outside, Sansa and Arya stand on the Winterfell battlements and kiss and make up. Arya tells Sansa she’s a survivor and a good leader. They both quote Ned and his emphasis on sticking together as the music of Winterfell swells and we cut to Bran pondering outside the Weirwood.
He’s spying on Eastwatch, using his cute little crow trick! Tormund and Beric head up to look at the true North and they notice a few wights coming out of the tree line. Rememebr when the Night King touched Bran and we were all like “WOW HE CAN NOW PASS THROUGH THE WALL!”? It doesn’t matter anymore because Zombie Viserion (he’s not REALLY fast) pulls up and blasts an ice-laser-beam through the Wall to bring it down. Tormund and Beric seem to fall with this section of the Wall and the army of the dead easily passes through.
Stay tuned for Season 8! We’ll be continuing the episode summaries and dissections as much as we can stand it!